Home Messages Index
[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
Author IndexDate IndexThread Index

Re: Two Percent of Desktops? Who cares?

  • Subject: Re: Two Percent of Desktops? Who cares?
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2006 16:33:10 +0100
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Organization: schestowitz.com / ISBE, Manchester University / ITS / Netscape / MCC
  • References: <pan.2006.>
  • Reply-to: newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • User-agent: KNode/0.7.2
__/ [ Konan ] on Tuesday 12 September 2006 10:52 \__

> Just finished reading "In the beginning was the Command Line" by Neal
> Stephenson.  Very interesting, if a little dated (1999).
> But it brings up a "who cares" question for Linux users.  That is, why do
> we care if Linux overtakes Windoze?  If it did/does then most of the users
> will be the same clueless mouse clickers that use the other two OS's.  99%
> will have no usable input to give back.
> If Linux were struggling to gain a critical mass so that enough technical
> users and programmers would be attracted, that would be one thing.  But
> Linux is far beyond any danger of just dying off as a baby.  I use a
> totally stable Debian system on a homebrew PC.  I use it all day, every
> day and it gets the work done.  If my neighbor down the street with a Dell
> and XP changes to Ubuntu for some reason, how does that affect me?   Or
> you, for that matter?
> Now you know and I know that if he did change, then he would save quite a
> bit of money.  On blood pressure medicine, software and not having to haul
> the box into town three times yearly to have it de-wormed.  But again,
> what would that change do for the Linux community?  If he can't, or won't
> learn to update anti-virus sigs or check for patches weekly, then he
> certainly isn't going to add to the Linux knowledge.
> So.  Who cares?  Specifically?
> Konan

GNU/Linux occupies _far_ more than 2%. Companies with vested interests spend
a lot of money spreading disinformation and hiding this fact. This includes
acquition of media, use of reporters as puppets and, corruption of Web
standards, which forces people to use false identity, much like shamed (Net)

Apart from the prevalance dual-head machines, Web statistics would indicate,
based on HTTP headers that are diverse or spoofed (e.g. Opera, Konqueror,
Firefox with Agent Switcher), that Linux held over 3.5% of market share
quite some time ago. If you consider the fact that about 10% of the headers
cannot be determined, e.g. because Squid is used or because they are
irregular (Apple and Microsoft header are uniform, but 450 distros and many
browsers lead to untraceable diversity), everything changed. Add to this the
fact that many users pretend to be IE/Windows for convenience (zealous
sites) and then the market share (installed base) of Linux could be argued
to have exceeded 10%. This aligns with what I see here. Almost all the
computers here (a medical-oriented division) have dual-boot setups. It's the
same all across the CS department and I see a lot of dual-boots all around
me, even at home of technophobes. I don't know how these regional statistics
generalise to the world, or even your hometown (this is related to
perspective), but given that Finland's Firefox market share is 3+ times
higher than that in the US, it would be wrong to make conclusions based on
what you hear/see. Linux has made/is making huge progress in businesses and
home alike. But, being a non-product, it cannot be quantified. And rich
companies will always wish to instill fear in the prospective customer's

Do not forget that the very same companies would argue that only 1 in 50
machines suffers from malware whereas all other studies say it's 8 or 9 in
10! And a gaming machine such as the XBox is reported to have failure rates
of 30-50% while its maker lowers this estimate an _entire order of

So sure... the XBox is a birlliant piece of harware, Windows viruses are a
rarite, the market share of Linux is below 0.5% and Iraq has huge arsenals
with weapons of mass destruction.

Best wishes,


Roy S. Schestowitz      | Those who can, Open-Source
http://Schestowitz.com  | Free as in Free Beer ¦  PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
Cpu(s):  19.2% user,   2.7% system,   0.9% nice,  77.2% idle
      http://iuron.com - semantic engine to gather information

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
Author IndexDate IndexThread Index